Malhotra, Mini (2005-12). An Analysis of Maximum Residential Energy-Efficiency in Hot and Humid Climates. Master's Thesis.
Energy-efficient building design involves minimizing the energy use and optimizing the performance of individual systems and components of the building. The benefits of energyefficient design, in the residential sector, are direct and tangible, provided that design strategies with a substantial combined energy and cost-saving potential are adopted. Many studies have been performed to evaluate the energy-saving potential and the costeffectiveness of various design options, and to identify conditions for optimizing the performance of building systems and components. The results of these studies, published in various resources, were analyzed discretely using different techniques, and were reported using different bases for comparison. Considering the complex interaction of, and energy flows through various building components, it is difficult to directly compare/combine the results from various studies to determine the energy-saving potential of combination of strategies, and to select an appropriate set of strategies for making design decisions. Therefore, this thesis develops a comprehensive survey and analysis of energy-efficient design strategies and their energy-saving potential, in isolation as well as in combination, using a DOE-2 simulation model of a prototype house in the hot and humid climate of Houston, Texas. Optimized strategies that included building configuration, materials/ assembly for building envelop components, and efficient mechanical and electrical systems, equipment and appliances, were applied in combination that could minimize the annual energy use. Application of these strategies is expected to allow downsizing systems and equipment and to confirm their operation at their rated performance, resulting in additional installation and operation cost savings. The study is concluded by outlining the procedures for selecting optimized set of strategies, and by developing guidelines for achieving maximum energy-efficiency in singlefamily detached houses in hot and humid climates. Thus, this study will facilitate the selection of energy-saving measures for their individual or combined application for developing energyefficient residences in hot and humid climates.